The Blueprint Blog

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Your Kids Are Part of The BluePrint

In Tools and Resources on February 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Kids…whew!  I wish they came with parenting manuals.  The truth is most of us have children before we are emotionally ready and equipped to handle their needs.  This isn’t a showstopper because it’s been this way since the beginning of time.  As you think about living the life of your dreams, if you’re a parent, that definitely includes your children.  How much time do you spend learning how to be a more effective parent?  How much time do you invest in what is arguably your most valuable asset on the planet?  How do you ensure that you are instilling the proper values in them when the culture can sometimes be anything but proper?

Trust me, having raised one child and working on raising the second one, you WILL make mistakes.  Despite your best intentions, kids will be kids and they’re going to make childish mistakes.  They don’t yet have the ability in those precious little brains, cognitively or biologically, to understand all of the reasons why they can’t listen to certain music, go to R-rated movies, eat chicken nuggets every day, have a beer and cigarette or stay out all night with their friends.  It’s part of our job as parents to set boundaries and limitations to keep them out of harms way.  In addition to setting boundaries, we should also explain our reasons to them so that they learn to think critically and make good decisions when they’re up the street at their friends’ house.

The BluePrint–Design Your Dream Life will make sure you have access to resources and tools that can help you to be a better parent.  We have to prioritize our children.  We spend countless hours on our careers and our education or other life goals.  Ask yourself are you spending enough time improving your parenting skills? Are you reading books and magazines about parenting the same way you are fitness and finances?

Here’s the link to a site to get your started.  http://www.consistent-parenting-advice.com/effective-parenting-skills.html

If you know of other great sites with good parenting advice, post the link in the comments.

Living the Dream,

Trellis

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Insomniacs Unite!

In Uncategorized on February 10, 2012 at 3:14 am

As I was dealing with a bout of insomnia, a friend asked what turned out to be a very insightful question: “do you think your trouble sleeping is related to the fact that you’re not as busy and have had lots of time to just think and reflect?”.  Out of shear frustration and exhaustion, I barked back “I don’t know maybe”.  It would later prompt even more introspection and much needed honesty on my part.

Due to some medical reasons and the choice to make changes in my career journey late last year, I’ve spent the past several weeks doing a lot less than what’s normal for me. Partly due to my physical recovery and partly my need to mentally slow down and recharge my batteries. But that has left me with a lot of non-busy time on my hands and I’ve realized that just maybe I’ve been defining myself too much in the “doing” rather than defining myself in “being”. See I’m great at doing.  Just give me some project, job or task and I’m off. I’m discovering that when that is minimized, simply being creates a certain amount of anxiety for me. Inactivity cuts at the issues of self-worth and value.  Internally, questions surface like “if I’m not doing anything, what use am I? What value do I bring to the table?”

Now before you all start emailing, tweeting and calling to make sure I’m okay, I’m fine.  I don’t live in the space of anxiety all of the time but enough lately to take notice.  I have to intentionally reaffirm my self-worth and value simply because I’m here.  What I know is that I am enough and that I have inherent value regardless of what I’m doing and even if I’m not doing anything. But when you’re use to being very busy with all of the responsibilities of life, you can begin to define yourself by those activities and other people will define you by them as well. Ever notice how many people want to be around you when you seem to have lots going on? That’s not a bad thing. We’re all drawn to energy. But when the momentum is interrupted, things and people fall away. That’s not a bad thing either.  What’s bad is that we turn on ourselves because we internalize the belief that doing trumps being.

This time of transition and slowing down has been great for me…a sabbatical of sorts. It’s helped me to recognize some great and not so great things about myself and sometimes the constant introspection has kept me up nights, like right now:-). 

I’d encourage everyone to take some time to slow down, recharge your batteries and get to know yourself better.  Recognize that you are enough simply because you ARE. The “doing” is merely an expression of who you are.  Plan to take a week or two off this year to be with yourself and maybe even be by yourself.  Don’t fill the time with lots of activities….just BE.

And with that…..good night (or morning depending on where you are in the world).

Trellis

Romance is easy…love requires some effort

In The BluePrint on February 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm
Dinner

Dinner (Photo credit: Paul Watson)

During this season, we are all thinking about and surrounded by the trappings of Valentine’s Day.  The cards, flowers, candy, stuffed animals and all those damn love songs on the radio! It struck me as I talked to my daughter about this topic that romance is the easy part of relationships but romantic love on the other hand takes real effort.  Some would take issue with that statement because they are dealing with what I think is an immature version of love which is really infatuation with a bit of lust thrown in for good measure.  I’ve learned that love is not for whimps!  Love is going to challenge and stretch and grow you like nothing else.  Our fantasy version of love tells us that love is without conflict, always peacable, everyone is always walking around with a silly grin on their faces and can’t wait to get home to jump in bed and make mad, wild, chandelier-swinging love for hours. I hear all of the 30+ group laughing going “yeah right…hours!” LOL

I’m not a romantic pessimist.  I’m more of a realist but am a true-blue romantic at heart.  I know that the romantic love that we all dreamed about when we were younger DOES exist but what they don’t tell you in the fairytale is that you have to work at it.  You have to be willing to talk and listen, give and take, be right and be wrong, say I’m sorry, forgive and change.  None of us like change.  Not only is it hard emotionally but there’s biology and brain science working against us.  You have to have courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable with someone and trust them. A good friend of mine always says that “love provides a safe space to learn and  practice courage.”  Love also requires the willingness to look at yourself as reflected back to you by your partner and marvel at the good and not so good things about yourself.  The first thing we want to do if we don’t like what we see or what our partner is telling us is to throw away the mirror.  But I’ve come to realize that I can’t run away from me.  No matter where I go, there I am.

But we continue to pursue romantic love with everything in us.  Why?  Because we are made for connection.  We desire to be loved and accepted by another human being in an intimate way.  We want to both “know” and “be known” deeply by someone.

So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I’ve created a brief poll that will only take you a few seconds.  How would you rate your romantic relationship?